Germany is in the second Corona autumn. New infections and hospital admissions due to Covid-19 have risen sharply in recent weeks. Protection against the pathogen is weakening in millions of people because their vaccination was more than six months ago. After this period of time, the Corona vaccines lose their effect. This means that many double-vaccinated people will soon be worse protected against the virus and especially against the particularly infectious delta variant.
For uncertainty had recently the acting Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) provided. He spoke in a radio interview about how anyone interested could receive a booster vaccine. Physician representatives had criticized the statement.
Booster vaccination: Who is eligible for the booster
The Federal Ministry of Health, referring to the vaccination regulation, pointed out that in fact, in principle, all citizens are entitled to the Booster vaccination have. For some groups of people, however, they are "particularly useful," the ministry said on Twitter. One referred thereby to a list of groups of persons on the homepage of the Ministry.
Among other things, the groups named there are those who were the first to receive the Corona shots at the beginning of the year: The very elderly, those in need of long-term care, patients with severe immunodeficiency. But even for people in close contact with these groups, or those who have received a vaccination with Johnson Johnson's vaccines or Astrazeneca have received the booster vaccination is useful according to the list. With Astrazeneca, clinic, nursing and daycare staff, among others, were vaccinated at the start of the vaccination campaign.
However, both the Ministry of Health and the Standing Commission on Vaccination have since spoken out against this prioritization. Because sufficient vaccine is available, everyone can be vaccinated again – regardless of age and any risk factors.
Corona booster: One condition remains
However, an important prerequisite for the booster vaccination remains: the second Corona vaccination must be at least six months ago. However, there are exceptions for certain individuals.
Vaccinations: Where and with which vaccines to get boosters?
The booster is carried out with a mRNA vaccine. These are the vaccines of the manufacturers Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna – whereby the latter substance is only rarely offered. The mRNA vaccines are administered at the third vaccination regardless of which Corona vaccine was previously injected.
The majority of Booster injections Is carried out by general practitioners and specialists. Those who are planning the third Corona spike make an appointment, as with the previous vaccinations. Some primary care physicians also approach their elderly and vulnerable patients directly. Those in need of care can be cared for by mobile vaccination teams. In addition, company physicians are to be increasingly involved.
Corona: Why is the risk greater for older people??
Scientific studies show that especially those over 80 years of age and people with a weakened immune system have a poorer Immune response compared to younger people have. This means that their Immune protection, they have built up against the virus through the Corona vaccination, is often less. In addition, it decreases with time – and apparently faster than in younger people.
Experts ame that, especially for the elderly and risk groups, the booster vaccination can be given after a further six months Vaccination protection again declines and a fourth dose may be needed. Gassen also stressed that it must be "clear that for both groups, even after the third Vaccination Are unlikely to see a strong optimal immune response".
Vaccination: what's the point of the booster for younger people?
Since most younger people had their Corona vaccination less than six months ago, boosters have not yet been considered for them. Nevertheless, physicians fear that in the practices soon also increasingly younger people ask for a refresher course. "I'm being approached by a lot of people at the moment who want a third Corona vaccine dose want, although it is not yet their turn," said SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach to our editorial office.
Politicians must therefore make it clearer which groups have priority and which will have to wait. Otherwise, those would be pushed to the back of the queue Refresher most urgently needed.
Panel doctors demand medical guidelines for the Third vaccinations – similar to the spring, when people in specifically named age groups as well as with certain medical conditions were given priority in the Vaccinate has been conceded. Gassen sees here, however, not the policy, but the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) at the train: "The Stiko would be the right institution for such specifications." So far, the Stiko recommends booster vaccinations for people aged 70 and older.
Stephan Hofmeister, a general practitioner and vice chairman of the panel doctors, criticized the approach of the Politics. It stirs up "fears and insecurity". Instead, their message to healthy adults between 18 and 60 should be: "You have been vaccinated twice, that's enough, you are protected."